'The biography of Civil Rights mentor Benjamin E. Mays by a University of Kansas professor has been recognized as one of the top nonfiction works by an African-American author in 2012.'
'An American studies professor's new book, "Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions," explores the notion that ancient Israelites were black and that today's African-Americans are their descendants. The book was published this month by Oxford University Press.'
American studies at the University of Kansas offers an interdisciplinary department in which faculty and students think critically about the many institutional and cultural meanings of the United States in global context, particularly with regard to culture, society, and identity. Through studying topics such as film, jazz, literature, visual culture, gender, race and religion, American studies investigates the United States in the present and the past, beyond both disciplinary and national boundaries. Given our recognition of the critical impact of difference and power, we insist that a student's program of study consider the profound impact of diversity on society and address differential power structures.
AMS Undergraduate Student,
Bailey Reimer, Featured in CLAS
AMS Student, Stephanie Krehbiel Wins
Richard & Jeannette Sias Fellowshp &
Summer Research Award
AMS Student, Crystal Boson Wins FLAS
Scholarship and Publishes a Book of Poetry
AMS Professor, Jake Dorman Selling &
Signing Books on Jayhawk Blvd
Pictured (Left to Right): Jake Dorman, Bill Tuttle, Shawn Alexander, Cheryl Lester
Phillip Hofstra, professor of design, was awarded the 2012 H.O.P.E. Award during the Nov. 17 KU vs. Iowa State football game in Memorial Stadium at the University of Kansas.
Faculty Member's Daughter a Finalist for Rhodes Scholarship
American Studies Faculty Member, Cheryl Lester's daughter, Julia Barnard is a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. She will join other regional finalists for interviews with the selection committee.
Carla Tilghman is a first year Ph.D. student in American Studies and an artist. Tilghman is a weaver and currently has two pieces in the Auxiliary Power: Visual Art Adjunct Faculty Show in the Art and Design building’s Gallery from September 16-October 12. Here is Tilghman’s reflection on her recent attendance at 13th Biennial Conference of the Textile Society of America (TSA) held in Washington, DC from September 18-23, 2012.
The Textile Society of America is an international organization promoting research about textiles from “artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives.” This year’s conference focused Textiles and Politics and I participated on a panel discussing issues of sustainability in academic textile arts programs and well as delivering a paper on sustainability practices used by contemporary small scale American textile mills in North Carolina.
Conferences at TSA don’t just consist of paper presentations. There are pre- and post- conference workshops, site visits as well as focus groups and social hour. TSA uses each venue as an opportunity to unearth textiles hidden away in local collections and to share them with a broader audience interested in visual culture. For instance, Dumbarton Oaks, best known for its collections of Byzantine panels and mosaics and Pre-Columbian pottery has a small but stellar collection of textiles, available for view during the conference in their storage labs. We were allowed to spend time with a one of a kind woven royal Inca robe – which words cannot describe, but left me breathless.
The pre-conference workshop I attended concentrated on the physical examination of 15th century Italian velvets (complete with examples). This is a seemingly esoteric field until you realize that understanding trade routes between Persian, the Ottoman Empire and Italy is a crucial part of being able to identify the types of silk used in the textiles in order to date them accurately. The workshop included weavers, curators, conservators and historians, making for broad ranging and fascinating conversations as well as excellent networking opportunities.
There are many sessions offered at TSA that could be of interest to American Studies students: Colonial engagement with the international textile trade, Slave clothing, The North Carolina Indigo trade, piles of information about cotton, Wool production and the Texas economy etc.
The next TSA conference will be held in Sept. of 2014 in Los Angeles.
American Studies Student's Reflection on Internship Experience
During the summer of 2012, I completed a 12-week internship program in Boston with Education Pioneers, a nonprofit that coordinates Fellowship programs for talented law, policy, education and business students in order to launch them into high-impact careers in education leadership. As a member of the recruiting team, I coordinated outreach to potential applicants and analyzed data of past applicants to make predictions and recommendations about the program. I also was thrust headfirst into the dynamic Boston education landscape and worked with a host of super talented, interesting young professionals that were as energized as I was by the organization's mission: to prepare leaders in education.
Crucial to my work was an understanding of the complex issues that surround educational inequity. To know why we would want to send someone to work for a charter school management organization, I reflected on my public policy courses that taught me about charter laws and the politics of schooling. When I was asked to research education leadership to write a memo for a member of the national team, I was fully dependent on my preparation in research and writing from my American Studies courses. When my coworkers talked about meeting the needs of underprivileged students, the classes I had taken in sociology helped me formulate my opinions and gained me respect in the office.
Because of my American Studies degree, I had the background in understanding social issues and presenting them in an interesting, coherent way. Everything else — how to use Salesforce, our data management software, for example — were skills I learned quickly on the job, under the guidance of coworkers. They recruited interns with backgrounds like mine, I believe, because our liberal arts degrees reflected an ability to think critically and understand the world. Anything else was easily teachable.
At the end of the summer, I could see the tangible results of my work as well as my own personal growth. Now, looking toward my post-college plans, I feel prepared with the degree program and work experience to allow me to launch a career in nonproft management.
Bailey Reimer is a senior, double-majoring in American Studies and Linguistics
When We Become Weavers brings together a multitude of voices exploring the many dimensions of the Midwest queer female experience: a land of moderation and extremes, lakes and thunderstorms, tall grass prairie and dance clubs, racism and transphobia, assault and female erotic power. In this volume, 17 poets, familiar and new, share stories you won't soon forget.
“Lovers of poetry, click your heels together three times and rejoice. Queer female poets of the Midwest have shared the wide-prairie range of their imaginations in Kate Lynn Hibbard’s When We Become Weavers. We may or may not be in Kansas anymore. But read these lines, read between these lines, and enter the clear-eyed, sometimes subtle, sometimes seething, always edifying landscape of these women’s words. Go ahead, let yourself be transported by this tornado of queer female poets. You know how to find your way home.” — Sally Bellerose, author of Girls Talk
Race, Space, & Gender: A
Conversation with KU Faculty of African-
American & American Studies: Teriffic
Event & Full House